Food of the Month: Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a wonderful summertime food. Being 95% water, they are a cooling vegetable, ideal for keeping you cool on those hot summer days. Juicy and refreshing, cucumbers have many great health benefits. They contain phyto-nutrients called, cucurbitacins, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. High in Vitamin C, K, and several B Vitamins, they also contain anti-inflammatory properties. Cucumbers contain copper, potassium, and manganese, plus numerous antioxidants such as beta-carotene.

Cucumbers are one of my favorite summer vegetables. They are wonderful in salads, and are great for serving with dips at a party. Another one of my favorite ways to utilize them is to put slices of cucumbers on sandwiches.

In this recipe, I have combined cucumbers with the sea vegetable wakame. Because of cucumbers sweet taste, they complement the bitter taste of the wakame. Sea vegetables are the most nutrient dense food on the planet. They are high in: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and Vitamins, A, C, several B Vitamins including B12.

Wakame in particular has the ability to turn toxic metals in the intestines into harmless salts that can be discharged from the body. Wakame is such a powerful food it can cleanse radiation out of the body. Sea vegetables expand when you soak them, so you do not need to use a lot of them in your recipes. They also have a bitter taste, so putting them with other flavors such as sweet, salty, sour and pungent, helps create a flavorful dish. This recipe contains all five flavors and will satisfy your taste buds.

Cucumber Wakame Salad

2 cucumbers (sliced in thin half moons)
6 inches wakame
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. ume plum vinegar
2 scallions (sliced thin)

Put the cucumber slices in a bowl. Put the 2 T. ume plum vinegar over them and let marinade for one hour. Meanwhile, soak the wakame for about 10 minutes until soft. Cut the wakame into small pieces. Place in bowl, put 2 T. brown rice vinegar over and let marinade one hour. Mix the marinated cucumbers and wakame together along with the sesame seeds. Put in refrigerator and serve cold.

Valerie Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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